Akwa Ibom Conscience, a non-partisan association, is set to hold a peaceful protest to express its disapproval with the decision by Udom Emmanuel, the state governor, to construct a new governor’s lodge in Lagos.
In a statement by Inibehe Effiong, the protest convener, the group described the project as a waste, given the economic situation in Akwa Ibom.
According to the statement, the protest will hold in Lagos and Akwa Ibom on August 10 and August 11, respectively.
The group said the state house of assembly approved N9.1 billion for the project but the state commissioner for information “claimed that the cost is N2 billion”.
It also said Emmanuel initially denied the existence of such a project in the budget while addressing the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) in Uyo, the state capital, on August 4.
“Whatever the cost of the proposed new lodge or the arguments for same, Akwa Ibom people have rejected it. Akwa Ibom already has two facilities in Lagos State: a liaison office and a lodge. It also has same facilities/properties in Abuja,” the statement read.
“Yearly, funds are voted for their maintenance. Yet, it has no economic value to the state. The contention that the facilities are maintained to attract investors is neither supported by evidence nor logic.
“We demand that the proposed project should be immediately expunged from the main and supplementary budgets, and the funds, no matter how “paltry”, should be channelled to productive sectors that will generate jobs for unemployed youths.”
The Lagos protest is scheduled to commence by 8am at the Akwa Ibom state liaison office in Lagos located at Ajose Adeogun Street, while the Uyo protest will take-off from Ibom Plaza to the government house at Willington Bassey way in Uyo.